Military News

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

50 SW hosts DSD information fair

by Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

9/21/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Schriever Airmen looking to broaden their career horizons had the opportunity to attend the 50th Space Wing's Developmental Special Duty Information Fair at the fitness center, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2015.

DSDs are unique enlisted positions critical to the health and growth of the Air Force.

The fair provided information on the 10 careers which the Air Force has identified as DSDs due to their unique leadership roles and the Airman's responsibility to mentor and mold future leaders. These include:
- Career Assistance Advisor
- Military Training Instructor
- Military Training Leader
- U.S. Air Force Academy Military Training NCO
- Airman & Family Readiness Center NCO
- First Sergeant
- USAF Honor Guard NCO
- Enlisted Accessions Recruiter
- Professional Military Education Instructor
- Air Force specialty training instructors identified with a "T" prefix

"I think it is critical Airmen understand and know the DSD process because not only could it have an impact on their career, but it gives them something to strive for," said Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna, 50 SW command chief. "Senior NCOs and supervisors also need to understand this program so they can articulate it. If our enlisted leaders don't understand this program, how are they supposed help the Airmen they lead grow and explain to them how important this is for the Air Force?"

To ensure the highest quality Airmen are assigned to DSD positions, the Air Force has implemented a nomination process which occurs twice a year. To be considered for one of these special duties, Airmen must be vetted through an extensive approval process with systematic placement. The program targets personnel in the ranks of master sergeant, technical sergeant and staff sergeant.

"The DSD cycle for this fall is about to hit," said Bentivegna. "September is the month that we do the [nomination process]. We haven't received the quotas yet from the Major Command, but they'll come any day."

The information fair was coordinated in order to give individuals who meet the criteria to be nominated for a DSD position the most current and up-to-date information as possible so they can make informed decisions in regards to their careers.

"We want to make sure the information is fresh and what better way than to bring in your area experts," said Master Sgt. Heather Abney, 50th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor.

Representatives from each of the 10 DSD career fields were present to offer Airmen the chance to ask questions directly to someone with first-hand experience.

"It was beneficial for me to get more information from someone who has [gone through the process] and done the job," said Staff Sgt. Gregory Sambula, 21st Medical Squadron aerospace medical technician. "It makes my decision a little easier, just to be able to talk to someone who has done it and ask them questions about their life, the area, the job - it will help me to better choose what I'd like to do."

Although Airmen interested in DSDs may have an idea of which career field they would like enter, the ultimate decision falls into the hands of leadership.

"You're personal desire to go forth and be vectored for a job, we'd like to have it, but it is not required," said Bentivegna. "We may see something in you that you don't even see in yourself. Your leadership is not going to set you up for failure. The goal is to set you up for success."

To be eligible to be nominated for a DSD, Airmen must meet the following requirements:
- Must have four or more years from high year tenure through the end of the report no later than date
- Must not have a pending assignment
- Last three enlisted performance reports must be rated "five" on old EPR system or "exceeded some" or "exceeded most" (top two ratings) on new EPR
- Must have a composite score of 80 or more on the last two physical fitness assessments or a composite score of 90 or more on the most recent
- No article 15 or unfavorable information file within the last three years. (MTI and recruiters must have never had an article 15)
- If an Airman has received a selective retention bonus, they must have completed 50 percent of that enlistment
- 24 months time on station

Keep in mind, Airmen nominated for a DSD are not guaranteed to be selected.

"If you're thinking about performing a special duty, don't be afraid to get outside your comfort zone," said Bentivegna. "The Air Force is going to give you opportunities that may make you uncomfortable, but these opportunities are going to make you grow and make you a better individual."

"You have to realize there are always bigger and better opportunities out there for us -- sometimes all we need is for someone to nudge us in the right direction," said Abney. "It's our job as senior NCOs to inform and encourage our Airmen because they will someday take our spot and we want to make sure the right people are in the right place to take on these jobs."

The professional development flight pushes out information on career-broadening opportunities through town halls and the chain of command, but plans to make this DSD Information Fair a reoccurring event that falls in line with the DSD nomination cycle.

"The next cycle will be in March, so we'll probably host the next [information fair] in February," said Abney.

For more information on the DSD program, contact the career assistance advisor at 567-5927.

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